fbpx

4 weeks ago

Continental Tire Plants: Energy-saving Projects Reduce Demand by 150 Gigawatt Hours

Thanks to 160 energy-saving projects, Continental Tires reduced its annual energy requirements by around 150 gigawatt hours in 2023. This was achieved, for example, through the increased use of renewable energies and thermal insulation. 150 gigawatt hours equates to powering about 12,500 family homes for a year, with an average consumption of 12,000 kilowatt hours per year. Energy in the tire industry is used, for example, to generate steam, which is required for tire vulcanization. In this production step, a rubber compound is converted into flexible, elastic rubber. With more efficient steam generation, Continental has reduced its CO2 emissions by 31,000 tons in 2023 alone.

“We are generating more and more of our own electricity thanks to the massive expansion of photovoltaic systems. At the same time, we are driving a wide range of projects to make our operations even more energy efficient. In 2023, for example, we have saved a total of 150 gigawatt hours of energy. Each of our tire plants is working on individual and company-wide solutions to achieve climate-neutral production by 2040 at the latest,” said Dr. Bernhard Trilken, Head of Manufacturing and Logistics at Continental Tires.

With its global energy-saving projects, Continental is actively taking responsibility for its carbon footprint. This has been confirmed for the sixth time in a row by the international non-profit organization CDP (previously known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). For its efforts in the past year, the CDP has included Continental in what is known as the Climate A List 2023. This makes Continental one of the world’s leading companies in climate protection. Continental has participated in this important environmental ranking for twelve years. Last year, the company achieved the grade “A-” in the area of climate protection.

Continental’s demand for energy is already well below the industry average

Thanks to its many years of commitment, Continental Tires already consumes 22 percent less energy per metric ton of tires produced than the industry average. This is the result of an internal benchmarking against average energy consumption of the world’s leading tire manufacturers, as reported by the Tire Industry Project under the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Continental is continuously working on energy savings and on switching to energy obtained from zero-emission sources. Last year, Continental Tires achieved a total newly installed photovoltaic capacity of 26.2 megawatts peak. This will enable Continental to generate up to 27.9 gigawatt hours of additional green electricity per year. The facilities at Continental’s tire plants in Hefei (China), Rayong (Thailand), Hanover (Germany), Korbach (Germany) and Lousado (Portugal) were expanded. A new installation was built in Alor Setar (Malaysia).

Focus on effective thermal insulation projects

Additional energy savings were achieved by installing insulation that reduces heat losses to the atmosphere. The insulation was fitted to pipes, hoses and tire presses, for example. Around a quarter of the 150 gigawatt hours saved in 2023 were achieved in this area. In 2023, Continental installed insulation in the Camacari (Brazil), Púchov (Slovakia) and Timisoara (Romania) tire plants. A heat pump was installed in Otrokovice (Czech Republic).

Conversion to climate-friendly LED lighting

Continental is also reducing its electricity consumption by converting to LED lighting. In all of the company’s tire plants, all conventional light sources and safety lighting, such as emergency exit lighting, are gradually being converted to energy-saving LED technology. Last year, LED systems were installed at the Continental tire plants in Púchov (Slovakia), Otrokovice (Czech Republic), Timișoara (Romania), Hefei (China) and Hanover (Germany), among others. By using LED lighting, Continental saved a total of 9 gigawatt hours in 2023.

Ambitious sustainability targets for all production sites

The ambition of Continental Tires by 2030 is to reduce its energy consumption by 20 percent versus 2018. Continental is aiming to achieve climate-neutral production by 2040 at the latest. Since the end of 2020, the electricity that the company purchases for all locations worldwide has already been sourced from renewable energy sources and is climate neutral. For this purpose, guarantees of origin are obtained in accordance with the criteria of the global RE100 Initiative.

All of the energy-saving projects implemented in 2023 originated from Continental’s internal “Be Energy Efficient” campaign, which has been raising awareness of energy efficiency among Continental employees and promoting measures to reduce energy consumption for ten years.

Source: Continental

Tire and Rubber Association of Canada

5409 Eglinton Ave W, Suite 208
Etobicoke, ON M9C 5K6